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lieved by Mary telling her, that since their return to the inn, she had not again seen the man who had attacked her, and that in all probability he had gone on.
The old lady would believe nothing but that it was his intention to murder her niece at least, if not both of them; and seemed scarcely to think the presence of the baron and his servants, together with their own, a sufficient safeguard.
On descending to the dining-room, in which, by this time, the dinner was placed, the baron received them with the same gentlemanlike suavity which he had before displayed towards them, and seemed to consider them as his guests. Lady Anne Milsome, however, in whose mind apprehension was at present the predominant idea, soon contrived, during dinner, to introduce the subject of their alarm, and, much to Mary's discomposure, could not rest satisfied till she had told the baron all the particulars of what had happened at Ilfracombe. VOL. II.
This recital, to a perfect stranger, was not very consonant to Mary's feelings; but when lady Anne had done her narration, in which she had occasion several times to mention her niece's name, the baron turned towards the young lady, with a look of kind interest —“ Lady Mary Burton!” said he. “ Is it possible that I see the sister of my friend, lord Burton ?"
Mary replied in the affirmative, not a little pleased to find in their new acquaintance an old friend of her brother's, concerning whom the baron asked a thousand questions; he had known him intimately in Germany, and had received that impression of admiration and attachment which lord Burton's manners and eharacter were sure to leave bebind, where ever he went. Before I heard this,” said their new acquaintance, alluding to Mary's relationship to his friend, “ I was inclined to serve you to the utmost of my power, but I am now bound, by friendship as well as inclination, and nothing shall pre
" .. vent
who held her a blow nerved by despair, which sent him reeling and bloody to the ground, and catching up Mary in his arms, he placed her on a piece of rock, and threw himself, with his pistols in his hand, between her and the robbers.
A flash of lightning could scarcely have been more quick, and it was done almost before they knew he was on the spot-almost before he knew it himself; but when 'he saw the situation in which he was placed, hope nearly forsook his bosom. There were none to aid him: the guide and his servant had not attempted to follow him, and he was surrounded by fourteen or fifteen armed men, whose countenances told of famine, and whose very garments spoke their desperation. There were two who appeared superior to the rest; the one evidently an Italian, and whose looks Charles fancied, or hoped, told a tale of better days. The face of the other instantly flashed upon Charles's memory; it was that of the very English
The fluency with which their new acquaintance spoke English, which he did with scarcely an accent, rendered their conversation during the evening much more agreeable, as it offered a medium for communicating their thoughts, unknown to any of those around, except lady Anne's servants; and though there was a fixed kind of gravity about him, which did not seem his natural character, yet his manners were so perfectly elegant and easy, and he knew so many persons in London (where he had resided for some time) with whom lady Anne and her niece were acquainted, that she very soon forgot her fears in his society, and retired to her chamber at night with much less terror than she had contemplated.
The night passed without any new cause for apprehension; and the next morning the baron, who, as they were informed, had never gone to bed, escorted them, according to his promise, towards Turin, at which city they arrived the day
mis But hear me,” he went on, remembering what the guide had told him about their ransoming their prisoners" agree to spare this young lady and myself, never to separate us for a moment, and to leave me my arms, and I will give you an order on my banker at Bologna for a thousand sequins ; if not, prepare to join the dead !
The Italian looked at the Englishman, wbo whispered something in bis ear; but all the ragged wretches who formed his band, lured by the sound of such a sum, immediately vociferated " The thousand sequins! the thousand sequins!" which turned the day in Charles's favour.
“ Well,” cried the Italian, “ I will take it," and was advancing.
“Stop!” exclaimed Charles in a loud voicem“ first give me your honour, as Italians and soldiers, that you will keep the conditions I have named exactly; and I will moreover add five hundred sequins to what I have promised, if you will in